Where We Are
By Richard C. Harwood
At The Harwood Institute, we have learned two things: 1) Public innovators are the leaders communities need to bring people together across dividing lines and get things done in environments where we're continually told it's not possible; and 2) We need those public innovators to be turned outward, with the discipline to use their community, not their conference rooms or their own programs, as the reference point for their actions.
Today, the Institute is squarely focused on developing these public innovators and boundary-spanning organizations to turn outward and solve our common challenges in a way that makes communities stronger. Our work has spread to hundreds of U.S. communities and 40 countries worldwide. We are aggressively scaling our approach in a number of exciting ways.
We have forged alliances with some of the largest nonprofits in the world, including United Way Worldwide, AARP, the American Library Association, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, among others. We are finding great success at the state level too; for instance, our alliance with the Indiana Association of United Ways is building a network of United Ways across the state of Indiana using our approach in local communities and generating a positive force for public innovation across the state. Recently our work has spread to Australia, where we've formed an alliance with the Local Community Services Association, a network of neighborhood centers across New South Wales. We anticipate announcing other Australia-based alliances in the coming year.